Many spouses wish to return to a former name after a divorce. While this seems a minor detail in the midst of a more extensive matter, a name change can be included in a divorce. Otherwise, a name change could mean a separate legal proceeding plus added time and expense.
Although spouses do regularly change their names at the time of a divorce, this is not a requirement. Spouses may choose to keep their current family names.
Restoration of a former family name after a divorce is located in Arizona Revised Statutes 23-325(C). Arizona law allows a former spouse to change their family name in the aftermath of a divorce.
This statute is not gender-specific. Therefore, husbands who take the family name of their significant others may also revert to their former family name. Divorcees with more than one prior family name may choose their most previous family name, their maiden name, or the family name of another former spouse.
A spouse may request a name change at any time before signing the final divorce decree. If a name change is requested immediately following the divorce, the final ruling will need amending to reflect that name change. A former spouse may change their name well after the completion of the divorce, but the procedure to do so is different.
When a name change happens at the same time as the divorce proceedings, the requesting spouse must approach the court with the request. The court typically grants a name change at that time.
Once a spouse has their final order changing their name, they may update any important papers, documents, and accounts to reflect the new name.
Changing the family name of minor children is more complicated than returning a former name to a spouse. In Arizona, the court must carefully scrutinize any name change of minor children and will only grant a name change when it is in their best interest.
Changing the name of minor children does not affect the rights or obligations of the other parent or another legal caregiver. If a name change of minor children is successful, the children’s names could also be changed on their birth certificates.
It is best to consult with an experienced family law attorney for advice on changing the family name of minor children.
A spouse cannot be forced to change their family name to a former or maiden name during a divorce. A name change is that spouse’s choice alone.
If you want to change your name during your divorce or need a name change after your divorce, the Chandler divorce attorneys at Wilson-Goodman, PLLC, can help. We can also assist you with any family law matters, including child custody, property division, child support, and alimony.
Have your questions answered by a professional today. Contact our office today to schedule a consultation with a skilled attorney from Wilson-Goodman, PLLC.